New Media Communications Course @ SMU

It was exciting conducting a second round of a two-day program on new media communications for colleagues in Singapore’s public service. On Day 1, participants were brought through some trends and developments of Singapore’s online space, and agencies such as the Health Promotion Board, the National Heritage Board (pics below are of Walter in action), and the Ministry of Education shared case studies, followed by a sharing on Wikipedia.

Day 2 saw many of the participants making their maiden foray into Web 2.0, creating their very first blog posts, contributing their first pictures onto Flickr, and uploading their first YouTube video. Ivan from the National Library Board brought the participants through how to create a podcast. Here are some pics.

The participants came from diverse walks of Singapore’s public service, such as Temasek Polytechnic, MINDEF, the Central Provident Board, the Energy Market Authority, and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, just to name a few. Here is a video of the class in session, taken from Day 1. If you were part of this class, please send me your blog URL. 🙂

NBC newsman Tim Russert dies at 58

Although I do not consider myself a fan of TV political talkshows, I have off-and-on caught episodes of NBC newsman Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press,” and he came across as a tenacious, hardnosed veteran journalist with a passion to get past political smokescreens.

My personal encounter with Tim Russert was at the PRSA International Conference in 2007, where Russert was one of the featured speakers. He talked about the poisonous atmosphere that pervaded beltway politics in Washington D.C., but what struck me the most was his admiration of the everyday goodness, decency, and work ethics of so many working class Americans, as embodied by his father. When sharing how his father’s life impacted him and set an example for him, Russert’s voice shook with emotion. Clearly despite all his successes, Russert stayed rooted to his family and to the ethos of everyday working Americans.

Read CNN’s report of Russert’s untimely death here. Three-term governor of New York, Mario Cuomo (whom Russert served as press secretary) wrote a piece on Russert when the journalist was named in 2008 by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The Future of Marketing

Please check out Walter’s recent post on his participation at Verge (OgilvyOne’s Digital Summit). He shares key learnings from Jessica Greenwood’s presentation, which outlined some incisive observations about where marketing is going. One trend is clear, integrated marketing communications campaigns–both horizontal and lateral integration–are the way forward to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace and get the attention of jaded consumers.

Synovate Young Asians Survey 2008

Synovate  is into its third year conducting the Young Asians Survey, a 11-market study spanning the media consumption, purchase habits, attitudes, favorite brand and heroes.  I thought it was interesting that, according to the survey, “the biggest media junkies can be found in Malaysia (12.9 hours a day), Thailand (12.8) and Hong Kong (12.2). This covers time spent on the internet, watching TV or DVD/VCD/videos, reading newspapers or magazines and listening to the radio.”

The HK press release can be accessed here.

The Singapore survey fact sheet can be accessed here.

If anyone has a fuller report, I’d love to see it!

APCO Study – A case of poor disclosure and premature pronouncements?

In my earlier post, I highlighted a study by APCO Worldwide declaring that PR suits and blogger pros were at odds in their perceptions of how well PR executives were doing in reaching out to bloggers. I asked for a detailed report of the study, and while none surfaced, a fellow blogger–Bill Sledzik, who teaches PR and media ethics at Kent State University–sent me a four-page summary that concluded with five broad pronouncements that APCO termed “consensus points” based on its discussions with bloggers.

But for this specific study, guess how many bloggers did APCO hold discussions with? Well, the population sample size for this study was a grand 102 people (55 PR professionals and 47 bloggers). While I don’t think that the conclusions themselves are anything terrificly new or controversial, delivering industry “best practices” based on a survey of such minute sample size is. APCO does no credit to the marketing research profession. It even did a press release publicizing the study, and ironically enough, a website that aims to “bridge the gap” that it found in the study. Is the company aware of criticisms of its study in blogosphere?

The summary report–quite appropriately entitled “badscience”–that Bill Sledzik sent me is attached. Thanks, Bill.


PRWeek – Study Finds PR-Blogger Divide

PR professionals conduct blogger outreach for various reasons, but a fundamental one of which surely is to cultivate brand awareness on behalf of their clients.  However, bloggers may have other motivations for blogging.  A survey by APCO Worldwide and the Council of Public Relations Firms found that PR pros and bloggers were at odds in terms of how well each party thought PR folks were reaching out and developing relationships with bloggers.

Whether/how companies should conduct blogger relations is a highly contentious issue.  Some argue that “blogger relations” inevitably translate into “seeding” relevant bloggers with certain products or giving them privileged access, and “hoping” that these bloggers would then altruistically “share their experience” with their readers, arguing that this amounted to bribery.  Others counter that this is no different from traditional media outreach.

The PRWeek article can be found here, but I would hesitate to comment until I see the full report.  I’ve done a search to no avail.  Can anyone help?

Flickr Photos


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